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From Age 3 to 30: Coming Out as Transgender James Sheffield ~ Atlanta, Georgia
Strict Voter ID Laws Could Disenfranchise 25,000 Transgender Voters, According to the Williams Institute October 19, 2016

Early voting began in Georgia this week, and all eyes are on Georgia’s voter ID requirement, which is one of the strictest in the nation. Voter ID laws can be an obstacle for many people, including transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

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To vote early or at the polls on Election Day, Georgians must present a government-issued ID that includes a photo and full legal name. But many transgender Georgians may not have an ID that meets this requirement, either because their photo no longer looks like them or the name or gender information listed is outdated.

According to a report from the Williams Institute—a think tank dedicated to conducting research on sexual orientation and gender identity in law and public policy—these voter ID requirements could therefore disenfranchise more than 25,000 transgender voters.

State driver’s licenses and U.S. passports are the two most common forms of acceptable voter identification documents. Both are accepted for the purposes of voter identification in Georgia. But of Georgia’s more than 11,000 transgender residents, nearly 40 percent who have transitioned say they do not have up-to-date identification.

27 percent of transgender residents nationwide report that they have no identifying documents consistent with their current gender.

However, transgender voters who lack an updated ID or have other concerns about in-person voting (such as facing harassment or discrimination at your polling place) can make sure their vote is counted by voting absentee, according to Georgia Equality.

To vote absentee, you must fill out an application for an absentee ballot and either mail it, fax it or deliver it in person to your county registrar’s office. Once you receive your absentee ballot, it’s a good practice to make sure it’s in the mail by Friday, November 4 to ensure it’s delivered by Election Day.

Don’t let yourself be disenfranchised this year! There’s too much at stake, both nationally and at the Georgia statehouse. If you have other questions or concerns about voting, check out Georgia Equality’s Transgender Voter ID Toolkit.

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